The Other Woman

When I wake up in the morning
With a vague smile
You will never notice my tired face
Or my hollow eyes
I will drink a bitter coffee
And keep the curtains closed
Because yesterday’s phantoms
Who still hide in my hair
Are damned with the curse of light

Instead of reading a newspaper
I will listen to Fauré’s requiem
And have a conversation with the dead
They will remind me of my grave
That stretches from Gaza to Sarajevo
And how good I was to learn
All the savage ways of death
While I am still alive

When I wake up in the morning
Shivering and suffocating with guilt
You will never know
That I have spent the night warming
The body of a child curling in snow
Who died dreaming of a sun
And a loaf of bread I couldn’t find

You will never realize
How I suffer in my own body
Because I can’t reconcile with my faces
That my joy is a rumor
And my grief is difficult to uproot
Because I always carry a genocide
In my blood

You will only kiss my shoulder
Wish me a good day
And leave me to my demons

© Imen Benyoub


I am a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. I also manage "The BeZine" and its associated activities and The Poet by Day, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights. Email for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

One thought on “The Other Woman

  1. The sorrow in this is palpable, Imen. I think that women are somehow better at being able to cloak that other face with a mask of normalcy. All humans suffer loss, but such depth of emotion has always been the kingdom of women, who bear the guilt for their children they cannot help. This reminded me of so many of the refugees seeking shelter here in America…those of us who would aid them have to drink the bitter coffee of being unable to over-ride the legislators who deny them.

    Liked by 1 person

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